November 2, 2012 - Fires in eastern Australia

Fires in eastern Australia

The bushfire season in eastern Australia continued unabated in late October, 2012. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this true-color image on October 25, 2012 as it passed over the region. Red hotspots mark areas where the thermal sensors indicated areas where temperature is greater than background. Accompanied by smoke plumes, such hotspots indicate actively burning fires.

In this image, dozens of fires burn in Queensland (north) and in New South Wales (south). Heavy smoke billows from most of the fires, and is blown by the wind in several directions, indicating shifting winds. Offshore, banks of white clouds appear in bright contrast to the smoke-veiled tan lands of spring across the region.

According to the Australian Broadcasting Company News (ABC News), on October 28, rain brought some relief to the marathon fire-fighting efforts of crews which had been battling over 70 fires, some burning for a week or more. Two major fires in southeast Queensland were quenched by soaking rains overnight, but fire conditions in the parched western Queensland, where at least 20 fires continue to burn between Emerald and Charleville.

Image Facts
Satellite: Aqua
Date Acquired: 10/25/2012
Resolutions: 1km ( B), 500m ( B), 250m ( B)
Bands Used: 1,4,3
Image Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC